BALTIMORE - Before the horses get out of the gates, thousands of drivers will have to push through traffic. You may be thinking it's been that way for 136 years, but there's another big event going on tomorrow just five miles away.
"The Nationals playing the O's. Yep, a lot of people," said Rebecca King, who’s heading to Preakness on Saturday.
The O's play the Nats at 4:05, so ball fans will mix with horse racing and infield fanatics. Interstate 83, 695, 95, and 295 will all feel it, especially as Washington fans drive up from the south.
"Northern Parkway will be impossible," said Joanne Kraft, who’s heading to Preakness on Saturday.
There's no good way around it; be prepared to sit on Northern Parkway. The Department of Transportation urges drivers to consider using the Light Rail or taking the bus.
"We want people to understand that they have to prepare for the worst. Prepare to leave early, prepare to be patient, know where you're going to park," said Adrienne Barnes, spokeswoman, city Department of Transportation.
Having a plan may keep you from getting towed. Barnes says drivers should look out for neighbors near Pimlico who charge to park. They may put your car in an illegal zone and the city will tow.
"We have a lot of people who want to be helpful and offer parking spaces, but we also want people to be mindful that where they're parking is a legitimate parking area," said Barnes.
Also, the cones and crews on Pratt Street, who are getting the Grand Prix track prepared, will still be working tomorrow. Barnes says for sure you're going to want to stay away from Light and Conway.
Joanne Kraft isn't getting back on the road until at least an hour after the race.
"That's going to be a lot of problems, so we're going to have to stay for all of the races without question," Kraft said.
You should expect tie-ups coming and going. The O's and Nats game could wrap up around the time people leave pimlico.
If you plan on taking public transportation, this information from the MTA will help you get around:
MAKE YOUR PREAKNESS DAY RUN ON THE MTA Metro Subway, Light Rail or Local Bus is your best ride to the Preakness (BALTIMORE, MD) May 19, 2011-Preakness fans are being encouraged again this year to avoid traffic and the hassles of parking by taking the MTA's local bus, Metro Subway, and Light Rail to Pimlico Race Course. Shuttle buses will run Saturday May 21, 2011 between the Rogers Avenue Metro Subway station, the Cold Spring Lane Light rail stop and Poly-Western High School. All shuttle service will run until 2:00 PM, then resume at 6:15 PM and run until 7:30 PM. Since each rail or bus boarding requires payment of a fare, riders are encouraged to purchase Day Passes for $3.50 ($1.20 for seniors and people with disabilities with MTA-issued identification) The best transit options to Preakness are as follows: Local Bus Service to Pimlico:
Nos. 27, 91, 44 lines, plus No. 54 via Park Heights Avenue all stop near the track.
$3.20 round trip or $3.50
Metro Subway Service:
Take Metro Subway to the Rogers Avenue Station.
Take the connecting Shuttle Bus to the track. Shuttle Bus service ends at 2:00 p.m.
Return Shuttle Bus service to Rogers Avenue Metro Subway Station begins at approximately 6:15 p.m. and operates until 7:30 p.m.
$3.50 Day Pass required
Light Rail Service to Pimlico:
Take Light Rail to the Cold Spring Lane Stop. Take the connecting Shuttle Bus to the track. Shuttle Bus service ends at 2:00 p.m.
Return Shuttle Bus service begins at approximately 6:15 p.m. and operates until 7:30 p.m.
$3.50 Day Pass required
From Towson-Lutherville-Timonium-Hunt Valley-Southern PA:
Take Light Rail to Cold Spring Lane Stop. Take connecting Shuttle Bus to Pimlico ($3.50 Day Pass required).
(more) Page 2 of 2 Best Transit Options to Preakness
From Glen Burnie-BWI Marshall Airport-Linthicum-Severna Park-Annapolis:
Take Light Rail to Cold Spring Lane Stop, then connecting Shuttle Bus to Pimlico ($3.50 Day Pass required).
From Downtown Baltimore:
Take Metro Subway from Charles Center or Lexington Market to Rogers Avenue Station. Take connecting Shuttle Bus to Pimlico ($3.50 Day Pass required).
Or take Light Rail to Cold Spring Lane Stop, then the connecting Shuttle Bus to Pimlico. ($3.50 Day Pass required).
From Owings Mills-Reisterstown-Glyndon-Old Court-Milford Mill:
Take Metro Subway to Rogers Avenue Station, then connecting Shuttle Bus to Pimlico. ($3.50 Day Pass required).
From Mt. Washington-Falls Road-Cold Spring Lane-Northern Parkway-Cross Keys:
Take Park & Ride Express Bus from Poly-Western High School to Pimlico. ($3.50 Day Pass required).
For general information on MTA service, visit the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. You can also call the MTA Transit Information Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 410-539-5000. (TTY 410-539-3497) To sign up for e-mail about service modifications and delays regarding all MTA modes, go to www.mta.maryland.gov and click e-mail notification.
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